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Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research
written by Chandralekha Singh
Investigations related to expertise in problem solving and ability to transfer learning from one context to another are important for developing strategies to help students perform more expertlike tasks. Here we analyze written responses to a pair of nonintuitive isomorphic problems given to introductory physics students and discussions with a subset of students about them. Students were asked to explain their reasoning for their written responses. We call the paired problems isomorphic because they require the same physics principle to solve them. However, the initial conditions are different, and the frictional force is responsible for increasing the linear speed of an object in one of the problems while it is responsible for decreasing the linear speed in the other problem. We categorize student responses and evaluate student performance within the context of their evolving expertise. We compare and contrast the patterns of student categorization for the two isomorphic problems. We discuss why certain incorrect responses were better than others and shed light on the evolution of students' expertise. We compare the performance of students who worked on both isomorphic problems with those who worked only on one of the problems to understand whether students recognized their underlying similarity and whether isomorphic pairs gave students additional insight into solving each problem.
Subjects ADS Supplements Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Rotational Dynamics
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
= Problem Solving
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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© 2008 The American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.4.010104
ISSN Number:
1554-9178
NSF Number:
0442087
PACSs:
01.40.Fk
01.40.Ha
01.50.Kw
Keywords:
expertise, problem solving, rolling motion, rotation
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created July 4, 2008 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
July 14, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 28, 2008
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Record Link
AIP Format
C. Singh, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 4 (1), 010104 (2008), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.4.010104).
AJP/PRST-PER
C. Singh, Assessing student expertise in introductory physics with isomorphic problems. I. Performance on nonintuitive problem pair from introductory physics, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 4 (1), 010104 (2008), <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.4.010104>.
APA Format
Singh, C. (2008, March 28). Assessing student expertise in introductory physics with isomorphic problems. I. Performance on nonintuitive problem pair from introductory physics. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 4(1), 010104. Retrieved October 31, 2014, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.4.010104
Chicago Format
Singh, Chandralekha. "Assessing student expertise in introductory physics with isomorphic problems. I. Performance on nonintuitive problem pair from introductory physics." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 4, no. 1, (March 28, 2008): 010104, http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.4.010104 (accessed 31 October 2014).
MLA Format
Singh, Chandralekha. "Assessing student expertise in introductory physics with isomorphic problems. I. Performance on nonintuitive problem pair from introductory physics." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 4.1 (2008): 010104. 31 Oct. 2014 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.4.010104>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Chandralekha Singh", Title = {Assessing student expertise in introductory physics with isomorphic problems. I. Performance on nonintuitive problem pair from introductory physics}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {4}, Number = {1}, Pages = {010104}, Month = {March}, Year = {2008} }
Refer Export Format

%A Chandralekha Singh
%T Assessing student expertise in introductory physics with isomorphic problems. I. Performance on nonintuitive problem pair from introductory physics
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 4
%N 1
%D March 28, 2008
%P 010104
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.4.010104
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Singh, Chandralekha
%D March 28, 2008
%T Assessing student expertise in introductory physics with isomorphic problems. I. Performance on nonintuitive problem pair from introductory physics
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 4
%N 1
%P 010104
%8 March 28, 2008
%@ 1554-9178
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.4.010104


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